Loughinisland's Rory Mason shows magic touch against Bundoran
AN OUNCE of breeding is worth a ton of feeding, and Loughinisland’s feisty wing-forward Rory Mason certainly showed that pedigree will always make a big difference when it really matters.
Mason’s goal may have been fortunate, but it was the real turning point in this hard-fought affair five minutes from time.
The son of the electryfing Brendan Mason was at the centre of everything that was good about the Down’s side’s historic victory.
Mason flicked the ball across the edge of the square for Seamus O’Hare to punch home the first goal. He then hit his side’s only point and was also involved in ‘the Island’s’ second and fourth goals.
“I am simply delighted to get through here today and I know my father is a very proud man as he lost a final back in 1989,” said Mason.
“Bundoran are a very good side and really put it up to us.
“I suppose they will be disappointed with some of the goals and the amount of wides they kicked but I thought our boys stayed very calm.
“They put us under a lot of pressure but our defence held pretty firm throughout and we did not concede any goals.
“I thought our boys showed great character and commitment out there and never buckled even though we did not score for quite a long period.”
He revealed that change in style after that barren spell was key to turning things around.
“We went for the long ball and thankfully it worked,” said Mason.
“We have some pretty handy inside forwards who are well capable of getting goals as they showed all through this Ulster campaign.
“This is a great victory for the club as we lost two Down senior county finals in 2007 and 2008.”
Meanwhile, Bundoran’s Shane McGowan agreed that goals win matches and Loughinisland got them when it mattered.
“It is just heartbreaking,” said the ex-county panelist.
“We gave away a few soft goals and we hit 13 wides so I suppose that tells the story of the game.
‘Our general play was pretty good and we had loads of possession but were very wasteful in front of the posts.
“They did not panic and were very hard to penetrate and were determined not to concede any goals. But we are very disappointed at the goals we conceded.”
Still, Bundoran have had a memorable year in reaching a first ever Ulster final appearance.
Their next task is a promotion/relegation clash with Four Masters in the next few weeks.
“Our objective was to get promotion and we will have to re-group. It may take a few days but we must not lose our focus.”